May 25, 2004

Three Models at a Waterfall

About half-way through the indoor session, the weather began to clear up, and less then an hour later, the sun was shinning, and the models were lobbying hard to relocate to working outdoors. After the session with Monique at the upper falls, I knew where I wanted to go. Not a week before Kylie had asked about water nudes, and while the weather was still too cool for water warm enough for swimming, I knew we could work along-side the water with great success.
Digital original, 4 frame stith
Unlike the first time I worked at the falls, the sun was out when we arrived. Like many other wooded spaces, the sunlight was difficult to work with; the dappled light through the leaves was pleasant enough to look at, but on film and with the digital camera, it presented a contrast problem with was hard to control. The easiest thing was to work around it, and eventually, to wait it out.
Digital original, 2 frame exposure blend, 14 frame stitch
We started working along side the river at the top, trying to make the images when the sun was cloud-covered, but this quickly proved futile.We moved down into the ravine where the falls landed, and worked in the shade provided there. This yielded a number of very strong images.Because we were avoiding the sunshine, they worked more with the rock walls then with the water itself.

The last half-hour of the session was spent waiting for the sun to move off of the top of the waterfall; I didn't want to lose the image to the high contrast inherent in direct sunlight. I'd spend more then ten minutes moving the view camera into place along the steep edge of the ravine, and wanted to make the most of the effort.
Digital original, 22 frame stitch
As it turned out, though both Kylie and Bobbi posed for the final two images of the day, only Kylie's pose worked out (Bobbi was too close to the edge of the image, and was quite distorted by the wide angle lens). Baring that issue, the image met, and even exceeded my hopes and expectations. We'd waited long enough for the light to soften at the top of the falls, but I didn't expect the sun shining through the water to show up so well, or work so beautifully with the lines in the rest of the image. After working with water for almost nine years, I can finally say I made an image of a waterfall that does the location justice.

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